Scotland's history, foods, customs, dress, etc, are woven throughout my Highland Moon Series, and I hope I've succeeded in showing my readers a wee bit of Scotland's past.
My new release, "Chasing a Highland Moon" book 3, is the story of the handsome Laird of Dunvegan Castle, Cinead MacLeod, or "Cin" for short, and Lady Claire Cameron. Claire is posing as a servant called Jenny, at Dunvegan and the attraction between the two is undeniable. Here is an excerpt from "Chasing a Highland Moon":
The following morning, balancing a stack of platters from the morning meal, Claire left the great hall and headed for the stairs leading down to the kitchen. On the landing, a movement outside the window caught her eye and she stopped to look.
Cin led his horse out of the stables, and swung onto his back, then rode out across the frosty moor. The wind whipped the horse's mane and Cin's long hair about, he and the animal seemingly one, as Cin urged him faster and faster. The sight near stole her breath away. How could she bear to never see him again? Tears welled up in her eyes, and she quickly wiped them away.
"He's a bonny lad, to be sure," Mistress Murray said from behind Claire, startling her.
She turned around to find an odd smile on the woman's face as she looked out the window past Claire.
"Aye," she whispered, heat rising in her face at being caught spying on the laird. She hurried down the stairs with the platters.
A short while later, Claire was on her way back from taking two buckets of leavings to the midden pile near the stables, when Cin returned from his ride. He saw her, and a grin spread across his face, lifting her spirits as always.
He drew his horse up a few feet away. "Morn, Jenny."
His handsome smile was contagious. "Morn, laird," Claire said, with a smile of her own. Her gaze traveled over the horse. "He's beautiful." She took a couple of steps toward the stallion, but stopped when he whinnied and tossed his massive head.
"Gabh socair. Calm yourself." He patted the horse's thick neck. "The wee lass means you no
harm," he said, his eyes never leaving her face. "You may touch him, if you wish."
Claire stepped closer and gently stroked the horse's velvety nose. "Ye're a handsome lad, Shadowmere."
"You ken his name." The fact that she did both surprised and pleased him.
"When I first arrived here, I was near the stables when ye rode out. I asked Jamie, the stable lad, what the horse was called."
"I see," he said, watching her delicate fingers stroke the horse, aching for her touch upon his own skin. "Do you wish a ride?"
She shook her head. "Oh, I cannae, m'laird." Her eyes were bright with excitement.
"Of course you can."
"What about Mistress Murray? She will skin me alive for neglecting my duties."
"Let me handle Mistress Murray." He leaned over and held out his arms. "Grab hold of my wrists."
She did as he asked and he pulled her into the saddle. She settled her hips between his thighs, igniting a flame of desire. He slipped an arm around her small waist, and pointed the horse once again in the direction of the moor.
Jenny held onto the saddle with both hands, as they raced across the frozen ground, her laughter filling his heart to near bursting with joy.
He swallowed hard and drew her back against his chest, savoring the intoxicating feel of her in his arms. "I want to show you something." He turned the horse and they raced along the cliffs high above the sea. Cin brought Shadowmere to a stop a few feet from the edge. This was the place where he had sought solstice as a child, and still did at times. He did not know why he wanted Jenny to see it, but he did.
"Oh, Cin." His name fell from her lips in a breathless whisper, and his heart skipped a beat.
"'Tis so beautiful," she said, her gaze on the scene before her. "I could stay here for the remainder of my days and never tire of looking at the mountains and sea before me."
Her words pleased him, filled an empty place in his soul. He slipped his finger beneath her chin and tilted her face toward his, then he kissed her, kissed her in a way he had never kissed a woman—with love. Cin had finally admitted it to himself. He was in love with Jenny.
Her lips parted and he growled against her mouth. Cin tasted her, feeding a hunger that, until Jenny came along, he had not even known existed. He lifted his head and looked into her dark eyes, surprised by the play of emotion he saw there. "I care for you, Jenny, and want you more than I have ever wanted anything."
He swallowed hard, and she realized how difficult it had been for him to expose himself to her in such an open manner. Before, when he had kissed her, she had fled. This time, she would not. "Then ye shall have me," she whispered.
He kissed her again, then turned the horse toward Dunvegan. "Tonight, I will come for you." He kissed the top of her head.
They rode back in silence, but the words that hung unspoken between them spoke volumes. Tonight, I will come for you.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my new release!